Asparagus can be a gourmet experience if cooked right. However, if it comes out stringy, tough, or mushy, it is downright unappetizing. Amazed at the asparagus in my favorite restaurant dish, I finally asked the manager how they cook the vegetable there. I have been cooking asparagus this way ever since. It comes out perfectly every time and makes a wonderful accompaniment to any dish.
Things You'll Need
To start cooking your restaurant style asparagus, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Choose a pot that is big enough to cook the asparagus shoots in without bending them. Fill the pot with water and a pinch of salt. Then, put it on the stove on high heat.
Wash the asparagus shoots thoroughly under running water (preferably with a fruit and vegetable wash) and trim off any fat ends or bad spots.
When the water comes to a boil, drop the asparagus in. When the water comes back to a boil, turn the heat to medium and set the timer to cook the asparagus for 1 minute exactly.
When the timer goes off, take the pot off of the heat and pour the asparagus into the strainer in the sink. While the asparagus is drying, spray the ceramic baking pan (shallow casserole dish) or cookie sheet with a light layer of non-stick cooking spray. If you want your asparagus very slightly crispy on the outside, use a dark cookie sheet. If you would like it soft and tender, use a ceramic dish.
Spread the asparagus in your pan and drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil or canola oil and a few dashes of salt. Use a spatula to turn the shoots to coat them all over. Make sure that there are no shoots piled on top of each other.
Place the pan in the oven on a top rack to roast the asparagus. Set the kitchen timer for seven minutes. After seven minutes, take the asparagus out and turn them over with a spatula. Then put them back in the oven for another 7 minutes.
When the timer goes off, check on the asparagus. It might need a few more minutes of cooking depending on your oven, but keep an eye on it.
Add extra salt only if needed. Serve your delicious restaurant style asparagus.
You can parboil the asparagus in the water ahead of time and then store in a ziplock bag in the fridge for a couple of days until you are ready to roast it in the oven.